In a totally unprecedented move, ChannelFireball has been acquired by one of its previous competitors. As of July 11, 2022, ChannelFireball and BinderPOS have both been acquired by TCGplayer!
What is TCGplayer?
If you’ve been reading our articles for a while, you’ve probably noticed that TCGplayer comes up in discussion constantly. Founded in 1996 and recently named for being one of the fastest-growing companies by Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz, TCGplayer is “an internet marketplace for collectible items.” While their specialty is Trading Card Games (or TCGs for short) like Magic: the Gathering and Pokémon, they have and will continue to expand to related markets.
For MTG, TCGplayer is a mass collection of different sellers that meet in one program. Through hosting and recording multiple sales from other distributors and shops, TCGplayer can measure secondary market averages for any MTG product. TCGplayer can offer lower prices than some competitors due to its business structure, making it the go-to place for reliable deals on MTG singles.
Launching in 2009, ChannelFireball (CFB, for short) is also a well-known Marketplace for MTG. They recently created a system similar to TCGplayer’s, which may be a leading reason for this incredible acquisition. Alongside dealing in TCG products, ChannelFireball is also well-known for its team of professional MTG players and content creators(Command Zone, for example). With a team full of huge community names, CFB has also become one of the premier sources for MTG content worldwide.
BinderPOS is a company that plays a more minor role in the MTG community than the other two featured names. This is a New Zealand-based company whose goal is to help smaller Local Game Stores succeed by connecting them to larger Marketplace business systems like the ones that CFB and TCGplayer use. Alongside this, BinderPOS offers information that LGSs can use to level up their knowledge when taking their business online. They do this, according to managecomics.com, by offering an “online and offline solution that combines a point of sale system, with an online website that lets you manage events, track store credit, sell through many different channels, and track the thousands of SKU’s that hobby stores have on hand.”
What Does this Mean for MTG?
The ramifications of this announcement are unprecedented. I cannot stress enough how heavily this will impact the world of MTG’s secondary market. Two of the most significant forces in MTG’s history are now combining to become one company! If the Marketplaces created by CFB and TCGplayer fuse, there might not be any other platform that can compete. Smaller LGSs that already deal with TCGplayer and CFB can only see positive growth as they will now have the customer base present in both companies. As hinted at by the inclusion of BinderPOS, a leading goal for this combined company will be creating a TCG Marketplace experience that cannot be rivaled:
“Together with ChannelFireball and BinderPOS, we will deepen the connection between collectors and retailers via online and physical store channels, accelerating a strategy that has been front and center to us since our founding,” stated Chedy Hampson, founder of TCGplayer. Statements taken from TCGplayer and CFB decision-makers make it very clear that the premier goal of this unification is to “merge the industry’s best content with the world’s largest marketplace for TCGs.”
As CFB CEO Josh Grant mentioned, this unification will allow CFB, in particular, to spend more time dedicated to strengthening their commitment to Local Game Stores and forwarding TCGplayer’s Marketplace model as a way to connect them to a more extensive customer base.
By having access to the premier forms of TCG content and storefronts worldwide, the culmination of these resources should allow for a reward system that other competitors can’t keep up with.
Looking for Deals? We’ll Have them!
As demonstrated by previous articles, we’ve always kept a watchful eye on TCGplayer’s sales. These are fantastic opportunities for players to save on MTG products while gathering extra rewards. This only stands to get better with the combination of TCGplayer and CFB! If you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities, consider allowing push notifications so we can notify you!
No need for those worried about losing Store Credit to either company upon their unification. TCGplayer will provide an update in the near future regarding integration plans between CFB and TCGplayer platforms. Until then, the company has promised that players will not see disruptions in service as a result of this change.